Published on March 11th, 2014 | by Red Cup Rebellion0
Traditions Await Fans at Swayze Field
Diamond Rebs Home Season at Oxford-University Stadium
Over the past several seasons, Rebel baseball fans have created what is home to one of the rowdiest settings in all of college baseball, rife with pageantry, tradition, and a little bit of weirdness – but not enough to keep it from being altogether charming. In case you’re new to Rebel baseball this weekend, or simply can’t remember all of the accoutrements of your fandom, here’s a crash course in what to expect when the Diamond Rebs take to the field.
• Alcoholics in the outfield: Beer is technically illegal on the Ole Miss campus, but thanks to a quirky jurisdiction boundary, it can be brought out to the student section in right field. Rebel undergrads (and even a few of us graduates) load up coolers full of booze, set up folding chairs and park themselves in the right field terrace. Security will search your cooler on the way in, but they’re just checking for outlawed glass containers. It doesn’t matter that you may be somebody’s high school brother toting a rolling cooler stacked with beer, but God forbid you bring a six-pack of Abita bottles.
• Beer showers: Did Ole Miss just hit a home run or walk off hit to win a game? Then throw up your umbrella and zip up your rain jacket because you’re about to experience a deluge of cheap beer and brown water. I never really participated in this tradition. Maybe that’s because I experienced some friendly fire while hosting LSU friends for a series, or because any beer/bourbon in my cup is worth more consumed than thrown.
• Writing on the warm-up ball: After the Ole Miss outfielders are finished warming up, the center fielder will throw the ball into the right field terrace for a student to guard while the Rebels bat. Bring a pen because by “guard” I mean cover in creative writings and doodles of the (usually) vulgar variety. At the end of the inning, the ball guardian hurls the ball back to the outfielders. It’s fun to follow the evolution of the ball’s artwork over the course of the game as well as the outfielders’ review of the ball’s artistic progression.
• “Love is Gone”: Put down your drink for this one! Between the top and bottom of the fifth inning, David Guetta’s dance anthem “Love is Gone” is queued up over the stadium loud speakers. The baseball team gathers at the top rail of the dugout while pumping their fists to the beat and all Rebel fans are expected to follow suit. Once the beat drops, it’s time to let loose and get wacky, but be aware of your neighbor. Throw your fist, hands, legs, etc. in any and all directions, making sure to pause and resume according to the beat. Senquez Golson shows us how it’s done.
• Throw it in the dirt!: The first time I heard this chant was during my undergrad years before the expansion to OU Stadium. During any three-ball count to opposing pitchers, super fan Chip Clinton (who passed in 2009, R.I.P.), would yell in a raspy, deep voice “Throw it in the dirt!” to which the rest of the stadium would immediately echo “DIRT.” This tradition continues today and is an Ole Miss favorite. The response is traditionally loud and quick, so pay Chip his respects and control that Southern drawl.
• Rock-paper-scissors tourney: Every third inning, non-starters will take a warm-up jog down the third-base foul line to the bullpen. Upon arrival, a fierce five- to seven-player rock-paper-scissors tournament breaks out. Loser has to, I dunno… buff someone’s glove or bat maybe?
• Watching drunk guys fall down the hill below the right field terrace: Self explanatory.
• [BRAND REDACTED] Cup races: This tradition started last season. While some people might think that mascot races are lame, I love this new addition. There’s even an @OMSoloCups Twitter account that tracks the record of each cup throughout the season. Poor Yellow was winless last season, but we all know he’s got heart. Moreover, we at Red Cup Rebellion can’t really be too upset, considering the column’s namesake comes from Red [BRAND REDACTED] Cup.
So cheer on.
This article was originally printed in TLV #198 (published February 22, 2014). To download a PDF of this issue, click HERE.